photo by r. yau


LAETITIA SONAMI was born in France and settled in the United States in 1975 to pursue her interest in the emerging field of electronic music. Her work combines text, music and "found sound" from the world, in compositions which have been descibed as "performance novels". She is creating and utilizing some of the most sophisticated technologies in order to create an intimate, spontaneous art form which transcends technology.

Since 1991 she has developed and adapted new gestural controllers to musical performance and composed works with these materials. Her unique instrument, the lady's glove , is made out of black lycra and is embedded with sensors which track the slightest motion of each finger, the hand and the arm. The performance thus becomes a small dance where the movements shape the music. (Other instruments which have been investigated are a "smart" old bellow, and a disabled truck antenna...)

She is currently performing "The Appearance of Silence (the invention of perspective)", a work-in-progress with live video by Sue Costabile, "Why ___ dreams like a loose engine (autoportrait)" , a farewell to the mechanical age in which the lady's glove controls hobby motors, mechanisms, shadows and lights, with a text by Melody Sumner Carnahan, "Conversation with a Light bulb" with the lady's glove controlling sounds and pulsating light bulbs' filaments.

Her installations include sonic and kinetic elements which often respond to the viewer's actions. BAGS, in collaboration with Nick Bertoni, the Tinkers Workshop and East Bay Youth was presented in the fall 2002. The installation consists of a variety of animated kinetic bags which are activated by the public and control the soundscore. Other installations include various animated ubiquitous objects (rubber gloves and light bulbs for the most part...) while Wire Rap II and Wire Rap III, installed this past year , show a clear obsession with wires and walls.

She has been performing in numerous festivals across the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan, among which the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, the Bourges Music Festival in France, the Sonambiente Festival in Berlin, the Interlink festival in Japan, Bang-on-a Can, The Kitchen and Other Minds, S.F.

Laetitia Sonami performed at the Ninth Annual Activating the Medium festival in 2006.